On October 12, both the 2017 City of Vancouver Book Award presentation and the Victoria Book Prize Society Award Gala took place, with titles from Anvil Press and Orca Book Publishers, respectively, receiving honours.
Carleigh Baker’s Bad Endings (Anvil Press) won the City of Vancouver Book Award, which recognizes authors who contribute to the appreciation of Vancouver’s history, unique character, or residents. Of Baker’s debut short story collection, the jury said, “Stumbling through the fogs of loneliness, Carleigh Baker’s finely drawn characters find respite in the particular intimacy afforded by ephemeral relationships. A renewal of connection with the more-than-human world offers the characters sustenance amidst the demands of an ever-accelerating city.”
Carleigh Baker is a Metis/Icelandic writer. Her work has appeared in subTerrain, prism International, Joyland, and This Magazine. She won subTerrain‘s Lush Triumphant Award for short fiction in 2012, and was nominated for the Journey Prize in 2014. Her book reviews and critical writing have appeared in The Globe & Mail, The Malahat Review, The Goose, and event magazine. She lives in Vancouver.
Also at the Vancouver event, Joanne Arnott, a Métis/mixed-blood writer and arts activist who has published eight books, including Mother Time (Ronsdale Press) received the Mayor’s Award for Literary Arts. Arnott selected Wil to Write (Wil George), a Coast Salish poet from the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, to receive the Emerging Artist Award in the same category.
Margriet Ruurs’s Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey, with artwork by Nizar Ali Badr (Orca Book Publishers) won the Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize, which was founded ten years ago by the late Mel Bolen to provide authors and illustrators of books for children and youth an increased opportunity for recognition. The jury described Stepping Stones, which tells the story of a family forced to flee their home to escape a civil war, as “a timely and beautifully crafted story that connects cultures and two artists worlds apart while allowing readers to better understand the spirit and unimaginable journey of the refugee.”
Margriet Ruurs is the author of many award-winning books for children. She enjoys speaking about reading and writing to students at schools around the world. Her adventures have taken her to such countries as Myanmar, Pakistan, Laos, Tanzania and many others. Margriet was born in The Netherlands but has been a Canadian for most of her life. She lives with her family on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.
Congratulations to the authors and their publishers!